Tower opts out of ultra-deepwater South Africa permit

Offshore staff

LONDONTower Resources says its subsidiary Rift Petroleum and operating partner New African Global Energy will not take further action on a frontier permit offshore South Africa.

They had the option to convert the ultra-deepwater SW Orange basin technical cooperation permit (TCP) into an exploration right. Accordingly, New Age will reimburse Rift the $0.5 million it paid under the original farm-in agreement in 2013, and which has now been terminated.

Tower plans instead to focus its efforts in South Africa on the offshore Algoa-Gamtoos exploration right, which it believes offers greater near-term potential.

In September, the Petroleum Agency of South Africa authorized Rift and New Age to proceed to the first renewal period, and they have approved the 2016 work program.

This will include further geophysical work and interpretation of previously acquired 3D seismic, with a view to bringing in a partner for the subsequent phase of activity.

The Algoa-Gamtoos ER includes three basins and multiple plays. The 3D data acquired in 2014 across the Algoa canyon has been supplemented by reprocessed data from an earlier 3D survey and the merged volume will be interpreted with the aim of delineating prospects for drilling during 2017/18.

In addition, the license includes leads defined on 2D seismic in the Gamtoos basin: the partners may seek to improve definition via additional 2D or 3D seismic in 2017.

Although Tower’s current focus is on the shallow areas, the license contains unexplored deepwater acreage within the Outeniqua basin.

In 2014, Total attempted to drill the Brulpadda-1 exploration well in adjacent block-11B/12B, but had to abandon the well due to mechanical difficulties with equipment on the rig.

Total, however, has indicated that it may return to drill in 2016/17.


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